Radiant Summer Ale | Ninkasi Brewing Company

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Radiant Summer AleRadiant Summer Ale

Brewed by:
Ninkasi Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
6% alc./vol. 40 IBUs
Millenium, Galena, Northern Brewer, Liberty hops. Dry-hopped with Liberty.

Added by msubulldog25 on 06-04-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 89 | Ratings: 232
Photo of Wasatch
3.8/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. Bomber

Pours a nice hazy golden orange/yellow color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is a nice balance of hops/malts, slight citrus. The taste is slightly sweet/bitter, hoppy/malty, with some citrus. Medium body. Drinkable, a nice thirst quencher on a hot day.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.56/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally picked up a bottle (22 oz), the Summer Ale snagged as the 'Dog Days' near an end. Hot Lips in the Pearl, poured to an imperial pint glass, slice of 'White' pizza on the side.

A: Gorgeous glowing amber, the name 'radiant' is deserved. Bountiful head, an off-white cream that builds to 2-fingers, settles gently, leaves coating foam-lace. Only drawback: a noteworthy haze with a few suspended flecks of uncertain origin and a general dullness/carbonation lack.

S: Modest maltiness plays with mild orange and spice. Really no much more than that...nothing bad, nothing special either.

T: More oranges and a hopping that starts strong with spice and blatant bitterness, then mellows to a thinner grass/herb greenness. Bits of candied caramel and a balancing sweetness, still this is a hop-skewing APA, flavorful enough. Biscuity-dry finish.

M: Very smooth, with a well-guarded prickliness. Medium body for the style, a little on the 'chewy' side.

D: Easy enough to drink and tasty enough, too. I do believe there was one in my hand (or my wife's, at least) when we were chatting up brewer Jamie Floyd a couple weeks back at Green Dragon's MTB Night...other than that, I neglected this all summer long. Not my favorite from Ninkasi, not a bad beer either. Worth a recommendation.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright (one might even say radiant) apricot with honey gold borders. Slow-moving bubbles ascend within, eventually plink-plink-plinking into the underside of a lovely looking head of pale sandstone colored foam. Thick sheets and small chunks of lace can be seen all over the upper portion of the glass.

The aroma could be brighter and bolder. The hops go easy on citrus fruity, sticking to earthy and herbal for the most part. It's hard to get a bead on the malt, although the beer's color suggests mostly pale with something slightly more toasted.

Radiant Summer Ale is tasty stuff if you like hop-focused APAs. 40 IBUs seems about right. Ninkasi must have figured that there are enough pale-malted, C-hopped pales out there, so they went in a slightly different direction. Any direction is fine as long as the beer is good... and this one is.

As suspected, the maltiness is on the toasted-light caramel side. The beer is more earthy, herbal and tea-like than nutty. Although nothing stands out on the hop side of the ledger, the melange of flavors from the somewhat unconventional hop bill works out well in the end. A little grapefruit peel and lemon zest keeps this American hop loving BA happy.

Given the ABV and the summer seasonal designation, the mouthfeel is right where it ought to be. It's much closer to medium than to light, and the carbonation is pretty close to ideal (left side of the Bell curve).

I'm not sure why I'm surprised that Radiant Summer Ale is good beer. Every other Ninkasi Brewing Company brew, with the possible exception of Tricerahops DIPA, has been both delicious and drinkable. If you enjoy well-crafted APAs, this one is definitely worth your hard-earned money.

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Photo of morimech
3.56/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, slightly hazy, amber color with a small head. The head that does form has good retention before settling to a thin cap. Nice amount of lacing is left on the glass. Rather timid aroma of grapefruit and lemon. Some malt aroma is also detected. Smells refreshing at least. Starts with a citrus hop flavor before some sweet malt makes an appearance. Finishes fairly bitter. Bitterness is moderate to high for an APA. Has a nice body and texture with a carbonation that keeps it lively without making things harsh. A good APA with some bitter bite.

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Photo of froghop
3.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a semi-hazy amber-orange with a small off-white head, and good lacing.

smell is of sweet toffee, a little pepper, some floral, and dry leaves.

taste is of sweet grain, a little corn, some wheat, and hops in the back, ends dry and slightly bitter.

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Photo of RedDiamond
3.61/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Somewhat on the dark and heavy side for a summer ale, especially one called Radiant. Perhaps autumn would be more suited to this alt-like pale bronze ale with its nutty, yeasted tang that drops lace like contrails across the pint. Drinkable, but a bit quirky for Ninkasi and a notch less compelling than their regular lineup.

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Photo of RedBrewer83
3.35/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bomber into Walking Man Brewing pint glass. No best by date.

A: Hazy orange amber, definitely not clear but not overly opaque either. Pours a nice fluffy white head that leaves pretty good lacing throughout glass, and head retention is pretty good, better than most pale ales.

S: Not too much going on here, would have liked a little more from this, Ninkasi is usually known for its big floral hop aromas....but this is pretty simple, grapefruit and lemon backed up by a biscuit malt and yeast.

T: Mmmm...pretty good, a little bigger flavor than I expected. Grapefruit and lemon hit the palate first and then a faint malty bread mid palate and the finish comes back hard with pine/grapefruit again. Lots of grapefruit, maybe a little too much for my taste, it really lingers on the finish. Good, but this beer suffers from being a little to one-note in my opinion. Could use a little more malt to balance it...

M: Medium body, heavier than most pales. Right amount of carbonation, just needs a little more sweet malt to balance it out. The finish is drier than I would like for a summer ale/pale ale. A little too much bitterness (grapefruit) to be truly satisfying.

D: Being as dry as it is and so one note it becomes a little monotonous and the bitterness makes it just a little overwhelming for the palate. I love hops and the bitterness that comes with them, but you have to balance it with the malt to make a drinkable ale. This one needs more balance.

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Photo of golden1
3.2/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz Bottle from John's Marketplace.

Pours a hazy amber with a golden base. Maybe a half-finger of head that quickly dissipated.

Light amounts of hop in the smell. Primarily grapefruit-dominated citrus. Tiny bit of yeasty malt waving hi from the back, but all-in-all, it's not a heavily scented beer.

Oddly enough, the taste is a complete reverse of the smell. You get the malt first before the dominant grapefruit-hop bitterness storms in and demands notice. I kind of like the reversal. Solidly bitter finish - 40 IBUs says the website, this feels a bit more than that.

Regarding the mouthfeel, this is what I would call semi-aggressive. It's not smooth and silky - the bitter finish sticks around for a bit. If lingering, hoppy-finishes are your thing, this may be one you want to try.

I don't think this is a several-pint beer unless you're eating something to go along with it. Worth a try, but I wouldn't weep if you chose something else on the menu.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber. Im not sure If I got a strange bottle but my one pours a hazy dark orange with a very slight white head,. Aroma pleasing scent of hops..grassy, some maltiness in the back. Taste? hops first mid-bitter lemomy, then some sweet baked apple pie flavour , brown sugar and again the hops appear at the end to lend a long lasting finish. Ok on the palate..loved the after taste of hops. Overall an unusual beer ,I liked it but couldnt see me drinking more than one in a sitting.

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Photo of mjl21
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce botte from Bear Creek Beers in Medford, OR. Cost $3.70. Poured into the new SA glass. No bottling info is present but this was just released. Comes in at 6%.

A-Pours a cloudy, dark amber with a one finger head that is almost pure white in color. The head reduces to a small layer as the beer is consumed. Bubbles can be seen rising from the bottom and there are a few streaks of lace.

S-Lots of yeast and biscuit malt are present through the course of drinking the beer. I pick up on some grapefruit, maybe from Cascade? There is also earthy and floral hop aromas. As it warms I get a little banana.

T-Lots of yeast flavor hits upfront followed by the biscuit malt. There is a definite grapefruit bitterness in the middle and the back of the mouth. I pick up on a tad bit of booze as it warms. There is also some lemon zest present as it warms.

M-Medium bodied and smooth. The beer from the first pour has a nice, crisp finish and on the second pour the crispness is a lot flatter. The bitterness from the hops definitely lingers.

D-It's a pretty easy drinking beer, but the components just down come together enough for me. It is priced very well for a hoppy beer.

This was my first Ninkasi beer. A buddy of mine brought me back a mixed case of OR beers and he raved about this one. I think there was too much yeast/biscuit malt upfront and while this has some nice hop bitterness, the hop profile is not my favorite. To me it falls in the middle of the pack for West Coast Pale Ales.

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Photo of kdoc8
2.19/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Ninkasi Ninkasi...what is happening?! I was so excited about the summer ale release and it was even more disappointing than their Spring Reign. The appearance was a nice golden color with a thick, bubbly white head. It didn't really have a smell. If there was any smell it was slightly of unbaked bread. The taste was so uncomplicated...it started out tasting like yeast and ended off tasting like detergent. I'm not sure there were hops or malt in this recipe. I really could barely finish my pint of it. Their last seasonal releases (Oatis, Sleig'r) were sooo great and then spring and summer have been very disappointing.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The radiant summer ale poured a dark amber orange with a small foam head. Some tiny bubble lacing around the sides of the glass.

The aroma was citrus and pine notes. You also got a biscuit note to it. To me was a little similar smell as in the last season they had out. The taste was like a pale ale taste with the biscuity malt to it. It had a nice bite to it. Overall a great summer seasonal.

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Photo of bitterthebetter
4.1/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a light golden orange with white head

citrus, pine, biscuity malt, slight resiny notes

grapefruit upfront with solid pine and resiny hops leading to a slight bready malt body. somewhat dry hop finish

light bodied, solid hops without being too strong but with a strong, hoppy, slightly spicy finish

smooth, crisp, refreshing delicious. a great summer pale, not as light as the spring reign

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Photo of Docer
3.98/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Finally getting to try this... love Ninkasi stuff... especially their Tricerahops! No freshness date...

- Such light cloudiness.. dark copper color with bright white head... quickly down to some serious lacing...

- Sweet earthy smell.. very unique.. some fruit, banana.. zesty hop... pine.. hard to pinpoint

- Very light for a 6% brew... caramel malt.. sweet.. little bit of lemon zest sitting on top of it all.. some bitter hop, but not too much... well balanced and light...

- Bit tart n' dry, but overall a great feel...

- Very drinkable.. and to guess that this is 6% ... it's just not there! Overall a fantastic light seasonal!

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Radiant Summer Ale from Ninkasi Brewing Company
3.48 out of 5 based on 232 ratings.
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